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Author: Mehroz Ahmad

To analyze a log-file, the analyzer must have a
complete know how of the data collection.

Although there are many things to note during the log-file
analysis but they can be summarized under different topics:

Quality Analysis
Handover Analysis
Drop Call Analysis


Doing coverage analysis from log-files usually we come across following problems:  Low Rx_Level  Lack of Dominant Server  Sudden Decrease in Rx_Level  Almost same Rx_Level  Drop call due to Bad Coverage  Access Failures .

In areas where there are few sites and too many different types of terrain structures like hills or obstacles those stopping the line of sight to the broadcasting signal. there might be a lot of coverage holes or places with insufficient signal level. .

.Signals of more than one cell can be reaching a spot with low level causing ping pong handovers. This might happen because the MS is located on the cell borders and there is no any best server to keep the call.

Tunnel Effect: Engineer may notice sudden decrease on signal level when analyzing the log files. This will result in excessive number of handovers. Before suspecting anything else. Tunnel effect will most likely result in ping pong handovers. . check if the test was performed on a highway and that particular area was a tunnel or not. Signal level on the chart will make a curve rather than unstable changes.

Other cells else than the one that suppose to serve at that particular area should be coverage reduced by power reductions. downtilts or other configuration changes. This will cause quality problems because of frequency reuse and immediate action to optimize cell coverage should be taken. .The network needs big optimization work when there are too many cells having overlapping coverage.

Remember this minimum level is much lower than RX Access Minimum Level.Call is dropped because of poor coverage. The signal level goes down below the minimum signal level that system could carry on. .

or hardware failures.Access failures can happen because of low level below ACCMIN. A low value of ACCMIN means that the coverage in idle mode is improved at the expense of the risk of having an increased number of call set–up failures. bad quality or blocking in the target cell. . ACCMIN is generally set to –104dBm depending on sensitivity level of equipments and is referred during call set–up. it is because the signal leveling the cell you are trying to make call set–up is below ACCMIN which prevents MS to access the cell. If you get a blocked call message during call set–up.


While doing the quality analysis in a log-file. one comes across different cases:       BER & FER Bad Quality due to Signal Strength (FER is BAD) Bad Quality due to Signal Strength (FER is OK) SQI Collusion of MA list causing low C/I Interference .

Power control and Frequency hopping.BER Stands for Bit Error Rate FER stands for Frame Erasure Ratio The BER and FER caused by the radio network is the most important speech quality degradation factors. . The BER and frame erasure ratio (FER) are dependent on a number of factors such as fading and interference. The degradation can be minimized by using the radio network features DTX.

. the quality of the call becomes worse being effected by interference or fading or both. drop calls and ping pong handovers in such environments. Consequently the system becomes weaker to handle the interference. SQI is still within acceptable limits. FER and SQI when analyzing interference problems. That’s why we check all RX Quality. Notice that not only Rx Quality is bad.As the signal strength drops down. but also FER is high. System will face bad RX Quality.

. but FER is still fine which means there is no obvious interference in the area.The difference of this case from the previous is only the difference in FER. The area in this case should most probably be a flat area without any obstacles to create reflection and the site density should not be dense or re–use of frequencies is good to prevent any co–channel interference. Signal strength is also bad in this.

very deep fading dip has a different effect on the speech than a constant low bit error level. Speech Quality Index is another expression when Quality is concerned. the RxQual measure is based on a simple transformation of the estimated average bit error rate. The TEMS Speech Quality Index. The Speech Quality Index is available every 0. it is possible to produce the TEMS Speech Quality Index. A short. Extensive listening tests on real GSM networks have been made to identify what type of error situations cause poor speech quality. By using the results from the listening tests and the full information about the errors and their distributions.SQI. One of the reasons for this is that there are other parameters than the bit error rate that affects the perceived speech quality. However.5 second in TEMS and predicts the instant speech quality in a phone call/radio–link in real–time. . and two calls having the same RxQual ratings can be perceived as having quite different speech quality. even if the average rate is the same. which is an estimate of the perceived speech quality as experienced by the mobile user. is based on handover events and on the bit error and frame erasure distributions.

. MAIO lists of neighboring cells should be properly planned or MAIO step could be used. To prevent this kind of interference.The collusion of frequencies with neighboring cells MAIO list frequencies become more significant with dropping signal level.

bad quality patches. . Adjacent Channel Interference Interference created by adjacent frequencies is called Adjacent Channel Interference. There are few cases in any network regarding this kind of interference. It is rarely faced in any network.  Interference can cause harm to network by creating drop calls.There are two types interferences usually faced during the drive test:  Co-Channel Interference Interference created by same frequencies is Co-Channel Interference. voice distortion etc.



HO algorithm in different vendors systems or even in operators using the same equipment could be different.Cell Handovers  Intra-BSC Handovers  Inter-BSC Handovers  Inter-MSC Handovers All the above handovers do follow the HO algorithm. Four main kinds of handovers take place in the networks:  Intra. In TEMS following Layer-3 messages contribute to Handover.Hand Over contributes to one of the main KPIs in any network.       Sys Info Type 5 Sys Info Type 6 Measurement Reports Handover Command Handover Access Handover Complete .

TYPES OF HANDOVER          Power Budget Handover (value depends upon PGBT HO Margin) Level Handover (value set -95dBm for DL & -105dBm for UL) Quality Handover (value set to 3.2% to 6. by default) Intra-Cell Handover Rapid Field Handover (value set to -110dBm by default) Directed Retry Handover .) MS distance Handover (value set to max.4% for both DL & UL) Interference Handover (value set to -80dBm for both DL & UL) Umbrella Handover (value set to -80 to -90dBm & PGBT Margin to max.

Reasons for handover failure could be unavailable time slots because of high traffic. one faces the following problems:      Late Handovers Ping-Pong Handovers Missing Neighbor Relation T3124 Expiry Neighbor Cell in another BSC/MSC . congestion. Handover can be failed because of hardware problems in target cells –more likely TRX or time slot problems. low signal strength or bad quality on target cell. Doing the HO analysis.

If umbrella handover is enabled between two neighbors. handover will happen late. vice versa. If margins are too much. quality or power budget handovers are not set correctly. If margins for level. handover will not take place at the right time.There will be such cases that you will notice handover process taking place a little late. First thing to check will be handover margins between the neighbors. you will notice that the small site will still keep the traffic although the level of umbrella cell id too much higher. This is due to HO Level Umbrella RX Level which is set to some definite level. There could be couple of reasons to that. .

• Incorrect HO Margins • lack of dominancy • Too many overlapping regions .Ping-Pong Handovers take place due to following reasons: • MS moving in Zig Zag direction between the cells.

there is a possibility of a missing neighbor relation. This will happen with sudden appearance of strong cell in the neighbor list just after a handover. .If a handover is not performed to a neighbor cell that seems to be best server.

HO failure is faced when this timer is expired which means that either the burst is not sent properly or not recognized at the other end.T3124 is the timer which is started when the Ho reference is sent in the HO access burst. Shown in the “Additional Information Message” in Mode Reports .

because neighbor relations in these cases need extra attention. the neighbor needs to be defined as an external cell in neighboring BSC with correct CGI.You will always observe handover problems in BSC borders. BCCH. This must also be like this on the other way to have a mutual neighbor relation. BSIC and power related parameters. When the neighbor is in another BSC. . the cell needs to be defined as an outer cell in neighboring MSC with correct CGI and MSC name/address. If the neighboring cell belongs to a different MSC. This must also be like this on the other way to have a mutual neighbor relation.


General reasons for drop calls are as follows: o o o o Drop Drop Drop Drop Call Call Call Call due due due due to to to to Low Signal Strength Bad RX Quality Not–happening Handover Interference .If the radio link fails after the mobile sends the Service Connect Complete Message then it is considered a dropped call.

Remember this minimum level is much lower than RX Access Minimum Level to prevent on–going call from dropping. .Low signal strength in any area can be a cause for the drop call. The signal level goes down below the minimum signal level that system could carry on.

Sometimes the level is good or in the satisfactory range but the call is dropped because of the degraded trend of Rx quality. The degradation in this case is caused by the ping pong handovers between different cells. .

This case is faced when there is problem in the neighbor definitions of any cell. BSC or any MSC. The MS moves on & the cells other than the serving cell are not properly defined as neighbors then the call will be dragged until it crosses the max TA value & the call is dropped.Sometimes the call is dropped due to not happening hand over. .

It might be co-channel & might be adjacent channel. .One of the reasons for the drop calls is interference also.